Tommy John Surgery. Are there a worse three words when it comes to pitchers? Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara struggled this season. We hoped that he would overcome those struggles, but now the situation suddenly looks a lot worse. Will Sandy need the dreaded Tommy John Surgery?
Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara might need Tommy John Surgery.
It seems like such a long time ago, when Sandy Alcantara was a National League Cy Young winning elite ace. Sandy was spectacular last season. He had a 2.28 ERA/2.99 FIP, with 8.1 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 32 games and 228.2 innings pitched. He couldn't follow that up this season, when he surprisingly delivered a 4.14 ERA/4.03 FIP, with 7.4 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 28 games and 184.2 innings pitched.
Sandy was a machine last season, leading the Major Leagues with 6 complete games. He did the same this season with 3 complete games. It turns out this efficiency had a steep price. That price is his UCL sprain. UCL sprains are typically precursors to Tommy John Surgery. Is that what's in Sandy's future?
Tommy John Surgery would erase an entire season of Sandy Alcantara's career, cut most of another season, and have him pitch yet another on a severe innings limit. This is horrifying for The Fish's contending chances going forward. Of course there's still some hope, for one it doesn't seem as if management is that worried about it. It's not even ruled out that he will pitch again this season!
Manager Skip Schumaker said this:
“Watching him throw is a good thing. It’s a progression. We’re going to watch it every day and go from there.”
There's even a possibility for him to pitch again this season! I'm going to be honest, that sounds pretty dangerous to me. What if this sprain gets worse? Might it be better off to just shut him down for the rest of the season? My hope is that this UCL sprain is as non-serious as possible, and that he will not actually need Tommy John Surgery at all. We'll be waiting anxiously to find out more in the coming days.